What started as a joint venture more than six months ago is now launched as one of Europe’s first and largest platforms in the refractory recycling sector: Mireco is the joint brand of RHI Magnesita, a market leader for refractory products and solutions, and the Horn & Co. Group, a leading recycling company in Europe. Mireco originates from one of the four divisions of the Horn & Co. Group – namely the “Minerals Recovery” division, which has decades of expertise in the industry. Together, the two companies, which have worked closely together for many years, have over 100 years of know-how in the field of refractories and recycling. The common goal and thus the mission of Mireco: to decarbonize Europe’s industries.
Manufacturers of refractory products such as RHI Magnesita can save an average of 1.8 t of CO2 by using one ton of recycled refractory bricks or material. Recycling is thus a real booster in saving CO2. This is exactly where Mireco comes in: “By increasing the use of recycled material, bricks or mixes throughout the refractory industry, we massively curb CO2 consumption in our industry, but also that of our customers – including global steel, cement and glass producers,” explains Sabrina Salmen, Advisory Board Member of Mireco and Senior Executive VP Recycling at RHI Magnesita. “However, it is not enough if only we, as the largest player in the refractories industry, push recycling. We will only achieve major CO2 savings if all refractories producers include recycled raw materials in their portfolio as standard,” Sabrina Salmen is convinced. “And they will only do that if they get the highest quality and an allround service that facilitates the use of recycled material. Therefore, MIRECO is a platform for the entire refractory industry ecosystem to fight greenhouse gases by means of circular economy.”
Circular economy: breathing a sigh of relief for the environment thanks to Cero Waste
At the heart of Mireco is the Cero (Continous Economic Recycling Optimization) Waste concept, a customized approach that uses circular economy to enable the use of high-quality recycled raw materials and prevent expensive and environmentally harmful landfill as much as possible. Nenad Tanasic, CEO of Mireco and Managing Director of the Horn & Co. Group: “We offer our customers the opportunity to turn their supposed waste product – the used refractory brick – into a high-quality raw material, which in turn is an important building block for other players in the industry. Mireco accomplishes this by offering everything from waste management to recycling, production and sales of refractory bricks – all from a single source.”
Mireco also benefits from the extensive Research & Development activities of RHI Magnesita, which primarily invests in the further development of recycling. Mireco has set itself the target of processing more than 160000 t of material already in its first year of existence, which means a CO2 saving of more than 300000 t – for which more than 17 million mature trees would have to compensate annually.
To achieve this, Mireco has seven recycling plants throughout Europe (Germany, Austria, Sweden and Poland) with a total of 150 employees. Mireco already serves over 100 customers in all European countries. In the future, Mireco’s recycling business will be expanded to other countries.